Bungie has flatly denied reports that it was in talks with Microsoft about a buyout that ultimately fell through because the studio's asking price was too high.
The rumor first emerged in a recent GamesBeat podcast during which two members of the team say that they've heard about talks between the two, but that it hasn't come to fruition because of the high cost. Eurogamer bolstered the report by reporting that it had heard the same rumors independently.
Bungie CEO Pete Parsons was blunt in his response, however.
This is false.September 14, 2020
It's not clear which part of the report Parsons took issue with—that the talks had fallen through because of price, or that they'd ever taken place at all—but the studio issued a more across-the-board denial in a follow-up statement.
"All of the info and speculation out there is not true," a Bungie rep said. "We are lucky to have a great relationship with our many friends over there who play Destiny, and Halo will always have a special place in our hearts."
In case you'd forgotten, Bungie used to be a part of Microsoft, which acquired the studio in 2000 and made Halo an Xbox exclusive. Seven years later it regained its independence, and a few years later it signed up with Activision for a ten-year publishing deal for Destiny. Despite the hype, it wasn't an entirely smooth ride, and Bungie pulled the plug on that deal in early 2019.
Jeff Grubb of Venturebeat, who initially mentioned the rumor, later said on Twitter that the remark wasn't intended to mean that formal movement toward a buyout was underway, noting that "acquisition talks are always happening all the time for all kinds of stuff."